Trade agreements such as NAFTA and GATT have broken down protections for workers and the environment in order to secure a free-wheeling capitalist global economy, and Asian workers, especially women, are suffering the worst of it -- laboring under worse working conditions and being forced to compete for the most degraded, worst-paying jobs.
The result was a triple pressure on Asian women to conform to the docile, warm, upwardly mobile stereotype that liberals, conservatives, and their own community members all wanted to promote.
Asian women organizers have been at the forefront of these campaigns.
Most significant among these is the groundbreaking campaign by Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) to organize Asian seamstresses against a powerful fashion designer, Jessica Mc Clintock.
The political context of the 1990s is significantly different and today, Asian immigrant professionals are less vital to the labor market and are thus, in a familiar cycle, being forced down the status ladder.
Asian immigration laws have changed such that they new Asian immigrant is not educated and professional but working-class or poor.